South Asia Free Trade Agreement
India on Thursday termed Pakistan’s move to include an additional 302 items in its positive list for trade with India as a ploy to continue to deny the MFN status for India. New Delhi sees this as a clear violation of the Safta pact and would take up the issue in the Safta meet next month.
India has undertaken a study of its existing free trade agreements (FTAs) like Safta and the proposed ones like Asean FTA and Southern African Customs Union FTA.
The center of gravity of the world economy was shifting to South Asia but opportunities of this regional dynamism could only be harnessed if the region integrated.
The service sector has emerged as one of the major contributors in the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and trade. On an average, while services account for more than 70% of GDP in developed countries and 50% in developing countries, their share in global exports have grown from 15% to nearly 25% over the last two decades. In the case of South Asia too, the share of services in GDP and trade has increased.
India is likely to get the support of least developed country (LDC) members of the Safta in its fight against Pakistan’s refusal to implement the agreement in its letter and spirit.
Although Bangladesh and Pakistan have agreed to sign a free trade area deal by September this year, the two countries are yet to start negotiations.
Bilateral relations between India and Pakistan are posing "threat" to SAFTA, the apex business chamber of Bangladesh said on Thursday.
Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the notion as baseless that it was opposed to Afghanistan’s entry into the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
South Asian foreign ministers have agreed to defer a dispute between India and Pakistan over the implementation of a regional free trade agreement.
India, which has called for an emergency meeting of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Ministerial Council, is expected to raise the issue of Pakistan backing away from its commitment under the multilateral agreement.
The (SAFTA) South Asian Free Trade Agreement has been implemented from July 1, 2006, which is operating under the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
Unhappy over Pakistan’s decision to limit trade with it to a few items under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), India on Tuesday said such a move would make the agreement meaningless and sought an "urgent" meeting of the SAARC Commerce Ministers to discuss the issue, an Indian newspaper reported.
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), has come into force in the member countries in South Asia. Of the seven countries of SAARC India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are at the phase of developing countries and the remaining four in the category of least developed countries.
The SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) organized a seminar on SAFTA, Expanding Business Opportunities in Karachi on the occasion of Seventh SAARC trade fair.
The Committee of Experts (COE) of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) will examine the proposal to include trade in services under the SAFTA agreement in October this year.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Monday that free trade with India was not possible without resolving political disputes.
India has, of late, engaged itself in forming bilateral/regional economic cooperation in a variety of forms.
The bilateral FTA would go beyond the tariff concessions provided under the SAFTA agreement.
South Asian nations want to ease tariffs gradually with the aim of establishing a free trade zone in about a decade, experts at a trade meeting said on Tuesday.
The commerce minister of Pakistan will make a three-day visit to Dhaka from April 19 to attend the Safta Ministerial Council (SMC) meeting and initiate talks on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh.